This is ninthtank. Isn’t it exciting? You may be wondering why I redesigned, when I should be focusing simply on writing more. As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been writing fewer and fewer long posts, and while the old design allowed me to add short posts, too, it wasn’t really optimised for that. The big text made even the simplest post the focus of the page. I have kept the simplified, stripped-down approach, but I’ve completely rethought and rebuilt it from the ground up.
If you go back to when eighthtank launched, one of the main things I wanted to do was increase the activity – by automatically adding some of my RSS feeds, and allowing me to write small posts. The first one works, in my opinion, really well – it brings the new music I love to the forefront. The second didn’t really work, and it has irritated me for a while now. So, I’ve been playing around with things in Photoshop, and the basic approach that you see here featured in the majority of my concepts – I knew I had to move forward with it.
I picked my favourite and least-favourite parts of the old design to work from. I loved the Hype Machine integration, top artists in the footer, the bold text – although I think it was overdone – and the use of images. I didn’t like the blog pages themselves, and the one-column approach.
I came around to the three-column layout quite early on. Moving the navigation down to the middle seemed logical, and bringing top artists and now recently played songs higher up the page seemed like a no-brainer, particularly with the nice imagery it brings with it. This stays constant across the site, and provides the real structure to the design. It also highlights activity and the inside of the site, bringing them to the fore instead of hiding behind a text link. This also frees up the left side for anything blog related.
Now that I’m a bit more up to speed with tailoring WordPress to my needs – thanks, Drain - I wanted to differentiate the Hype Machine/Digg content from the main blog. I already decided to reduce the font size of the post excerpts on the homepage, so I left links in big, bold text – and I hope it works quite well in highlighting the different content that makes up Thinktank. It’s also a much more manageable width, allowing me to use lovely imagery without worrying about its height taking over the page. Inside, I’ve focused on good readability, and added a Tweet button to encourage you readers to share anything you like!
I’ve probably gone into too much detail over every inane change I’ve made, but I’m really pleased with this design. It feels clean, nice to read and yet beautiful at the same time – in my eyes, at least. I realise I’ve said it before, but short blogging is what’s going to keep the site going. I love going into depth about a particular subject – a movie review, or a particular element of design for example – but I love just giving my opinion on something that’s happening, too. Bringing your attention to a new TV show I’m watching without doing a massive piece on it.
Hopefully, this is going to be the start of something fun for Thinktank. Join in, won’t you?Noteworthy 18 October 2011
Tagged as design, noteworthy, redesign, technical, thinktank, wordpress
…and comments are surprisingly working, so I’d really appreciate any feedback you can give me!...Andy on 18 October 2011 (2007)
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Hello my name is Andy.I am a twenty-one year old student from Liverpool, UK.
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